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Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

Big Tree

Big Tree was created by Gwendolyn Evans, Artist and Muse who happens to be blind.

This sculpture was created with recycled plastic tubes, wire, recycled aluminum foil, plaster wrap and paper maché.

Big Tree will be part of a larger exhibit coming to the Burlington area in May.  The exhibit is being created by people with developmental disabilities in a class taught by Gwendolyn.  The mission of this class is to create a paper mache sculpture garden for the community to enjoy.  This garden, like all members of our community, will include sculptures of different shapes, sizes, colors and textures that come together in a magical display.

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I’m dealing with the recent New England heat wave by reading — a lot.  It’s too hot and sticky to cook, do art or much of anything productive.  So I let go of that for the time being.  One particular book is inspiring me, “Polymer: The Chameleon Clay” by Tory Hughes.  It’s absorbing me.

I’ve been using polymer clay in my art for about fourteen years.  I’ve found it to be the medium that opened me up to art in general and allowed me a broader and more enjoyable definition of artistic creativity.  My creativity just keeps growing and expanding, and at times I really do feel like the creative muses are running amuck in my psyche.  I think that is about to happen again with the new techniques and ideas I am learning about.

I got into art in my thirties, and rather reluctantly so.  I discovered polymer clay in a body image workshop, of all places, and discovered I enjoyed the feel of it.  To my surprise, others liked what I was doing with the clay as well.  So I invested in more polymer and began to fool around by making little goddesses, angels, dragons and various creatures.  For a number of years I kept producing these little figures, occasionally sold some, but never, never, never would I dare call myself an artist.  That title was too far above me, as far as I was concerned.  The word or title of artist might as well have been like calling myself a queen.  I had a truly distorted perception of my self-worth, and a bent perception of what my creative potential was all about.  I’m happy to say I got over that.  And art actually helped me heal my distorted self-perceptions.

As I learned to just play with the clay, I surrendered to the process.  Then an astonishing thing started to happen, I began to be rather impressed with my own efforts.  My goodness, I really, really liked the stuff I was making, and that blew me away.  So no wonder that I began to sell more pieces and get lots of great feedback on my work.  I realized that this was a crucial part of my healing process.

Now I’ve expanded to many other mediums, and continue to have a blast exploring all these new things.  As I explore new tools, techniques and mediums, I’m also exploring myself.  I get to test my “boundaries,” stretch the perception of limitation, and find new ways to enjoy myself.  No one else could stretch my own personal perceptions of limitations, but I can tell you that having people around you who encourage you to stretch is most helpful.  After having grown up with a lot of messages about what I couldn’t do, I spent my early years assuming that all of the messages were true.  I have to say I love blowing those old false messages out of the waters of my own psyche.  Then I get to share the results with others.

I think that the various ways that I’m adapting my tools, using colors, and textures helps me keep the visual memories of color alive in my brain.  But art is also a very intuitive and spiritual process for me.  Sometimes I don’t know what a piece will be, but am led to use specific colors or techniques.  Other times I may have an intention for a piece and will spend time meditating about what it will look and feel like, and how I could go about the project.  I do try to say a prayer about my work, as I feel it’s important for me to ask for guidance.

Right now I’m so ready, willing and able to learn new things, hence reading this great book.  There’s always something new to learn and try, and always a part of us that needs to be stretched.

Here are three of my recent pieces. They are for sale at Candles & Creations in South Burlington, VT.

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